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Jussie Smollett showed up unannounced at the BET Award on Sunday — and Black Twitter roasted him over hot coals.

In March, Judge James Linn sentenced Jussie Smollett to 150 days in the Cook County Jail for lying about a hate crime.

Smollett went viral when he raised a fist in defiance, and yelled "I am not suicidal!" as he was led away to jail.

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But less than a week later, Smollett was released from jail while appealing his conviction.

Twitter users who hoped Smollett would go away were surprised to see him show up on the red carpet at the BET Awards. He may have been invited by his TV mom Taraji P. Henson who hosting the 2022 BET Awards.

One Twitter user wrote: "That's crazy how Jussie Smollett is out & about, showing his face like that situation never happened."

Another person tweeted: "Not Jussie smollet trying to get this black card reinstated."

And a third person wrote: "Jussie Smollett was seen at the BET Awards. He actually just made a wrong turn going to get a Subway sandwich."

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Jussie Smollett released a new single in which he declares his innocence and calls out his enemies who labeled him a pathological liar.

Smollett was convicted in March of lying to Chicago police about a hate crime hoax.

He was sentenced to 150 days in the Cook County Jail, but he only served 6 days. He was released from jail on March 16 while he appeals his conviction.

Smollett sings, "Thank you God for showing me my enemies." He also claimed his lies were corroborated.

"I never played the victim / Just trying to let y'all know / The truth about the distraction political show."

He also sings: "You think I'm stupid enough to kill my reputation?"

Smollett posted the lyrics on his Instagram account.

    "It's like they're hell-bent on not solving the crime / Taking out the elements of race and trans and homophobia that's straight taking lives / But turn around and act like I’m the one that killed the strides."

Smollett said proceeds from the sales of the single will be donated to Rainbow Push Coalition, Secure the Bag Safety and the Illinois Innocence Project.

Click HERE to listen. You must have a Spotify account.

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Jussie Smollet's brother Joqui Smollett (right) blames homophobia in the Black community for his conviction.

Jussie, 39, was convicted on March 10 of lying to police about a hate crime. A judge sentenced him to 150 days in the Cook County Jail.

However, on Wednesday, a judge ordered Jussie released on bond while his appeal is pending.

In an interview with Revolt TV, Jocqui Smollett blamed rampant homophobia in the Black community for his brother's conviction.

Jocqui said the prosecution used widespread homophobia in the Black community as leverage against Jussie, who is openly gay.

"Our community, innately, has a lot of homophobia in it," said Jocqui.

"They leveraged that fact. They knew that, ultimately, Jussie was not gonna get the same type of support as a straight Black man. And it's been obvious. I find it very difficult to believe that this ever would've gotten this far if Jussie was a straight Black man."

Jussie came out as homosexual on the "Ellen Show", after his character, Jamal Lyon, came out as gay on Fox TV's soap opera "Empire" in 2015.

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Fox Television

LGBT+ advocates celebrated Jussie and pressed Hollywood to increase visibility of Black and brown LGBT+ characters on TV and in films.

But Jussie fell from grace in 2019 after he was arrested for lying to police about an alleged hate crime. The actor claimed he was ambushed by 2 men on a bitterly cold January night in Chicago.

He told police the men shouted racial and homophobic slurs at him, tied a noose around his neck, and poured bleach on him.

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Prosecutors later accused Jussie (right) of masterminding a hoax with two friends to elevate his status and salary on Empire.

Empire could not survive the scandal and the series was canceled in 2020.

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Update: A judge ordered Jussie Smollett released from jail on bond pending his appeal on Wednesday.

According to reports, Smollett's attorneys argued that he would have completed his sentence by the time the appeal process was over. They also claimed he was in danger of physical harm after receiving threatening phone calls.
Original post published on March 16, 2022 at 6:41 p.m.

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Jussie Smollett is giving up food for the next 5 weeks while serving his sentence in the Cook County Jail in Chicago, Illinois.

Sources tell TMZ that Jussie is "fasting for spiritual reasons" and that he stopped eating since observing Lent on March 2.

Jussie reportedly stopped eating a week before he was sentenced to serve 150 days in jail for lying to police about a hate crime hoax.

Sources tell TMZ Jussie has only had sips of water and he plans to continue fasting until Lent ends on Easter Sunday.

Sources say Jussie is not on a hunger strike or protesting his incarceration. The disgraced actor was placed on suicide precautions in the jail's mental health unit following his outburst in court after he was sentenced on March 10.

Jussie yelled "I am not suicidal! I'm innocent!" and raised his fist in defiance as he was led out of the courtroom by sheriff's deputies.

On Wednesday, his brother, Jocqui Smollett said Jussie was in restraints while on the medical unit.

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Jocqui (pictured) said Jussie was moved to a regular cell with a bed in it thanks to support from his fans who re-posted the hashtag #FreeJussie online.

However, a rep for the Cook County Sheriff's Office denied that Jussie was in restraints while on the mental ward.

Jail officials said he was moved out of the mental ward because health services needed space for another inmate.

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Cook County Jail

Jussie Smollett's brother Jocqui Smollett gave fans an update on Day 5 of the disgraced actor's incarceration at the Cook County Jail in Chicago.

In an Instagram video, Joccqui said Jussie was moved out of a psychiatric ward to a new jail cell that actually has a bed.

He thanked Jussie's loyal fans for re-posting the hashtag #freejussie on social media. He also credited fans for convincing jail officials to move Smollet.

"It's working. He's now been moved to a new jail cell, out of a psych ward, that has a bed," said Jocqui. "The week before he was sleeping on a restraint bed and now he's been moved to a jail cell that actually has a bed."

Previously, Jocqui said Jussie, 39, was placed in a psych ward on suicide precautions following his outburst when he yelled, "I am not suicidal," after Judge James Linn sentenced him to 150 days in jail for lying to Chicago police.

Jocqui also posted a phone number for Jussie's worried fans to call and check up on his brother.

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Taraji P. Henson is catching flack for defending her former "Empire" co-star Jussie Smollett — an inmate in Chicago's Cook County jail.

Taraji, who played Jussie's TV mom Cookie Lyon in the Fox TV soap opera, wrote a post comparing the disgraced actor to 14-year-old lynching victim Emmett Till.

"I am not here to debate you on his innocence but we can agree that the punishment does not fit the crime," she wrote.

"Emmett Till was brutally beat and ultimately murdered because of a lie and none of the people involved with his demise spent one day in jail, even after Carolyn Bryant admitted that her claims were false. No one was hurt or killed during Jussie's ordeal.

"He has already lost everything, EVERYTHING! To me as an artist not able to create that in itself is punishment enough. He can't get a job. No one in Hollywood will hire him and again as an artist who loves to create, that is prison. My prayer is that he is freed and put on house arrest and probation because in this case that would seem fair. Please #freejussie."

She included a series of praying hands at the end of her post.

Taraji turned off her comments prior to posting her plea for Jussie's freedom. But the Twitter comments were nothing nice.

One Twitter user wrote:

"Taraji P Henson really has her nerve comparing Jussie to Emmett Till in any capacity. Who have you championed after they alleged some shit while the other party has suffered while WAITING for a verdict? Girl, bye."

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Cook County Jail

Prior to his sentencing hearing on Thursday, Jussie Smollett told his legal team he would probably be jailed because he's Black.

Smollett, who is biracial, was a once popular actor starring in the FOX TV series "Empire" when he claimed he was ambushed on a Chicago street in January 2019 by two men wearing MAGA caps. He claimed the men tied a noose around his neck and poured bleach on him before fleeing into the night.

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In December, Smollett was convicted of committing a class 4 felony for lying to Chicago police. On Thursday he was sentenced to 150 days in the Cook County Jail and ordered to pay $120,106 in restitution and a $25,000 fine.

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After the sentencing hearing, Smollett's legal team said he told them he shouted "I'm not suicidal" in the courtroom because he feared he would be found dead in his jail cell, like the late financier Jeffrey Epstein who was found hanging in his Manhattan jail cell on August 10, 2019.

In a statement to the New York Post, the Cooks County Sheriff's Office confirmed on Friday that Smollett, 39, is housed in his own cell in "protective custody" where he is under video monitoring 24/7, per his request.

Additionally, a guard wearing a body cam is stationed at the entrance to his cell to observe the paranoid actor at all times, the New York Post reported.

Smollett is allowed out of his cell during the day to watch TV, eat, and read in a common area near the medical wing. No other inmates are allowed in the common area while he is out of his cell.

The Cook County Jail houses more than 6,000 inmates and is considered the most dangerous jail complex in the country.

Smollett's family posted his quote on his Instagram page, along with the comment: "OUR BROTHER IS INNOCENT AND WE WILL KEEP FIGHTING. #FreeJussie."

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Cook County Jail

Cook county Jail officials responded to Jussie Smollett's "suicide" comments by wiring his cell with cameras 24/7. Additionally an officer with a body-worn camera is stationed at the entrance of the cell to observation Smollett at all times, according to The NY Post.

In a statement to The Post, a representative for the Cook County Sheriff's Office, said:

"As with all detained persons, Mr. Smollett is entitled to have substantial time out of his cell in the common areas on the tier where he is housed, where he is able to use the telephone, watch television, and interact with staff. During such times out of cell, other detainees will not be present in the common areas. These protocols are routinely used for individuals ordered into protective custody who may potentially be at risk of harm due to the nature of their charges, their profession or their noteworthy status.

"The safety and security of all detained individuals, including Mr. Smollett, is the Sheriff’s Office’s highest priority."

Brian Cassella-Pool/Getty Images

The disgraced actor shouted "I'm not suicidal! I'm innocent!" in the courtroom after Judge James Linn sentenced Smollett to 150 days in jail and ordered him to pay $120,106 in restitution for lying to Chicago police.

The outcome of the sentencing hearing was not what the "Empire" actor had expected. Smollett, 39, was visibly shaken and agitated as sheriff's deputies and corrections officers led him out of the courtroom.

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Cook County Jail

Jussie Smollett's first night in the Cook County Jail was "uneventful" according to jail officials.

The disgraced actor shouted "I'm not suicidal!" after Judge James Linn sentenced Smollett to 150 days in jail and ordered him to pay $120,106 in restitution for lying to Chicago police. He was also ordered to pay a $25,000 fine and to provide a sample of his DNA as a convicted felon.

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The "Empire" actor wiped away a tear as he listened to his brother, Joel Smollett Jr., plead for leniency for him.

Smollett's sentencing hearing was held at the Leighton Criminal Court Building on Thursday, March 10, following his conviction on 5 of 6 counts of a class 4 felony in December.

The 39-year-old California native was booked into the Cook County Jail on Thursday night. His teary-eyed mugshot photo was released to the news media a few hours later.

The Cook County Jail was also home to R&B singer/songwriter R. Kelly, who is in a Brooklyn federal jail while awaiting sentencing for his racketeering conviction in New York last year.

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Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx lashed out at the special prosecutor who indicted Smollett after Foxx dropped all charges against him in 2019.

In an op-ed for the Chicago Sun-Times, published on March 10, she wrote:

"In Smollett's case, the mob was relentless, organized and effective. A judge appointed a special prosecutor with an unlimited budget to reopen the investigation into a nonviolent Hollywood actor, a complete disregard for the discretion that prosecutors must have to be effective and independent.

"Smollett was indicted, tried and convicted by a kangaroo prosecution in a matter of months. Meanwhile, the families of more than 50 Black women murdered in Chicago over the last 20 years await justice."

She continued:

"What is most frustrating is that my cooperation in a process I knew was illegitimate sets a precedent that can be weaponized against progressive prosecutors determined to break the cycle of inevitable outcomes. Further, I worry it will serve as a deterrent to the next generation of prosecutors eager to fight for critical reforms.

Anyone interested in an equitable system of justice should be worried too."

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YouTube / CBSChicago

Jussie Smollett was sentenced to 150 days in the county jail followed by 30 months felony probation for masterminding a hate crime hoax in January 2019.

He was also ordered to pay $120,000 restitution to the city of Chicago for wasting countless overtime hours investigating his false claims.

In an unexpected outburst, the stunned actor shouted "I AM NOT SUICIDAL! I AM NOT SUICIDAL! I am innocent!"

The judge ordered him remanded into the custody of the Cook County Sheriff. Smollett's attorneys asked the judge to stay the jail time while they file an appeal. But the judge denied the request.

"You're now a permanently convicted felon," the judge told Smollett before imposing his sentence.

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YouTube / CBSChicago

As Smollett was escorted from the courtroom on his way to jail, he raised a defiant fist in the air and shouted, "I AM NOT SUICIDAL!"

His sister yelled "Stop locking up our Black men!"

Smollett was arrested on Feb. 20, 2019 and charged with filing a false police report, a class 4 felony.

However, Smollett has friends in high places in the Windy City and all charges were dropped on March 26, 2019, sparking public uproar among citizens and police.

After the charges were dropped, allegations of favoritism were made against state prosecutor Kim Foxx. A special prosecutor was assigned to the case and Smollett was indicted again on 6 counts of felony disorderly conduct.

On December 9, Smollett was found guilty on 5 of 6 counts. Watch the sentencing hearing live below.

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Brownsville police can't confirm Tisha Campbell's story that she was nearly snatched off a Texas street by human traffickers.

The 53-year-old actress trended on social media after she recounted her experience of nearly falling victim to human traffickers.

Tisha took to her Instagram account, telling followers "Don't freak out but I think I almost got snatched up."

Coincidentally, she was filming an independent movie about human trafficking in Brownsville when the incident allegedly occurred.

The actress said she needed a ride but there were no Ubers or Lyfts. So a man in her hotel gave her a number to a taxi service.

After calling for a ride, she claimed two men pulled up in what she described as "a sketchy van" and demanded that she get in.

After she refused, she went back to the front desk but the man was gone. She said a woman told her that the phone number wasn't the one they normally give to guests for the taxi company.

Tisha concluded she was "set up". But rather than call the police to report her suspicions, Tisha sent her brother a video.

She captioned the post:

"This was a video I sent to my brother right after it happened but I felt it important for ppl to be aware. I need for EVERYONE to be overly conscious of themselves and their loved ones..."

After viewing the video on social media, the Brownsville Police Department conducted a thorough investigation into Tisha's allegations.

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Police conducted interviews with hotel staff, reviewed security camera footage, and ultimately concluded that Tisha was never a guest in any of Brownsville's hotels.

Furthermore, police say the department "takes human trafficking and incidents such as the one Ms. Campbell reported seriously and welcomes her to reach out to us to investigate the matter further."

So far, police have not heard from Tisha.

Tisha's story is reminiscent of the one told by disgraced actor Jussie Smollett. Smollett was found guilty in December of lying to Chicago police about a federal hate crime. His sentencing hearing is set for March 10.

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Jussie Smollett's sentencing hearing is set for March 10, 2022.

Judge James Linn will likely sentence Smollett to prison for masterminding the hoax plot.

In December, a jury found Smollett guilty on 5 felony counts of disorderly conduct for lying to Chicago police about a hate crime hoax in January 2019.
RELATED: Black Lives Matter Stands with Jussie Smollett Despite Guilty Verdict
According to the NY Post, Smollett will likely receive less than a year in prison and 5 years probation upon his release.

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Smollett, 2nd from left, is best known for his role in Fox TV's soap opera Empire. The show was canceled following Smollett's 2019 arrest in Chicago, where the series was based.

On March 26, 2019, all charges against Smollett were dropped by his friend, state prosecutor Kim Foxx.

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After a special prosecutor was appointed, Smollett was indicted again on six counts of felony disorderly conduct.

His trial began in November 2021, and on December 9, Smollett was found guilty of five of the six counts.

Smollett, who is openly gay, remained defiant and maintained his innocence after the trial.

Judges who preside over sentencing hearings prefer to see convicted felons show signs of remorse before deciding whether to spare them from doing prison time.

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A report on the Cook County State's Attorney's handling of the Jussie Smollett case found misconduct and "operational mistakes" by top prosecutor Kim Foxx.

The report written by Special Prosecutor Dan Webb was made public by a judge on Monday.

"I do believe that getting my report helps restore the public's confidence in our criminal justice system," Webb said. "That is what I was asked to do. I have done it and now I am glad the report is going to be released."
READ ALSO: Kim Foxx calls Jussie Smollett ‘washed up celeb who lied to cops’
The report found that Foxx made "operational mistakes" when she initially dropped felony charges against Smollett.

Webb poured through emails, texts, phone records and television news interviews to determine whether Foxx used her office to grant special favors to Smollett.

The special prosecutor's report found misleading and false statements by Foxx, including stating that Smollett had no criminal background. He reportedly lied about a DUI and got 24 months of probation.

In an op-ed to the Chicago Tribune, Foxx claimed she didn't have enough evidence to secure a conviction against the disgraced actor. "The likelihood of securing a conviction was uncertain."

In a phone call to Smollett's sister on Feb. 13, 2019, Foxx allegedly said: "Your brother should be fine as long as he stays consistent."

Foxx, a Democrat, previously said she cut off communications with Smollett's sister.

Webb's report concluded his investigation "did not develop evidence that would support any criminal charges against State's Attorney Foxx or any individual working at the CCSAO."

A jury found Smollett guilty on 5 felony counts of disorderly conduct for lying to Chicago police about a fake hate crime in January 2019.

Judge James Linn set a post-trial hearing for Jan. 27, 2022. According to the NY Post, Smollett will likely receive less than a year in prison and 5 years probation upon his release.

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Beyonce's mom Tina Knowles-Lawson called for leniency for Jussie Smollett when he is sentenced for lying to police about a hate crime hoax.

Smollett was convicted of 5 felony counts of disorderly conduct on December 9. He faces up to 15 years in prison. He could also be sentenced to probation.

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Knowles-Lawson hopes the disgraced actor receives the lesser punishment. She compared Smollett to Kyle Rittenhouse, the Illinois teenager who was acquitted last month of killing two white Antifa activists in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
READ ALSO: Update: Jussie Smollett Found Guilty On 5 of 6 Felony Counts
Knowles-Lawson took to Instagram to share a screenshot of a CNN article, titled, "What Jussie Smollett's guilty verdicts tell us."

The CNN opinion piece compared Smollett to Amy Cooper, a white woman who called police to report she was being threatened by a Black man in Central Park last year. Cooper was dragged on social media and lost her job. She eventually apologized to the man who was simply bird watching in the park.

Knowles-Lawson captioned the post:

"The article goes on to say both were wrong but Jussie faces possible prison time and Amy Cooper The woman who called the police and lied about the black man that was Bird watching in Central Park was trying to attack her. Leading to the potential arrest of the man where in the history of black men In Custody could have led to his death !! Amy Cooper got off with public service."

Knowles-Lawson called for Smollett to receive "the same compassion" shown to Rittenhouse and Cooper.

"We will see the outcome of this for this Black man. Will he get the same compassion as Amy Cooper? I am not condoning what Mr Smollet was found guilty of . I am just asking will he get the same compassion and understanding of knowingly lying to police. Kyle Rittenhouse walked free after killing two people because the jury had compassion ?[sic]."


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Jussie Smollett went from celebrated LGBT+ star to convicted felon following a tense moment in a Chicago courtroom on Thursday night.

A majority white jury found Smollett guilty of 5 counts of disorderly conduct for lying to Chicago police.

Smollett, 39, was on trial for lying about a racist, homophobic hate crime that police say he orchestrated against himself with the help of two pals.

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Despite the guilty verdict, the leaders of Black Lives Matter in Los Angeles say they still stand with the disgraced actor.

"So let's be clear: we love everybody in our community. We can never believe police, especially the CPD over Jussie Smollett, a Black man who has been courageously present, visible, and vocal in the struggle for Black freedom," BLM LA leader Melina Abdullah said before the verdict.

Now, after the verdict, Abdullah tells TMZ she has not changed her stance.

She says Smollett still has their full support. Abdullah says the organization refuses to abandon its people and stands on the principle that the justice system is corrupt, according to TMZ.


Smollett faces up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced in an upcoming hearing. He is currently free while he awaits sentencing.

Court observers say the judge may consider a perjury charge against Smollett for lying under oath when he repeatedly said, "There was no hoax."

A perjury charge would guarantee prison time for the former "Empire" actor.

The judge may also order him to pay $130,000 in restitution to Chicago PD to cover its expenses for investigating the hoax.